Vampire Pilot Monty is ready for spooktacular Halloween fun.

Our beautiful big red balloons are a regular sight for visitors to Warwick Castle as they launch from just across the road in St Nicholas Park.

Likewise, our lucky hot air balloon ride passengers get a bird’s eye view of the castle as they drift up into the Warwick skies – the perfect vantage point for spotting the host of spooky goings on at this medieval fortress.

Given its ghostly reputation and the fact we launch practically on its doorstep, in the run up to Halloween we decided to take a closer look at some of the best known scary stories about Warwick Castle.

Murder Most Horrid

The most famous ghost of modern legend is probably that of Sir Fulke Greville, 1st Baron Brooke who was granted Warwick Castle by King James I in 1604.

He owned it until his death in 1628, when he was stabbed by a disgruntled servant who believed he had been cheated in his master’s will.

That servant, Ralph Heywood, was immediately overcome with remorse over his actions and turned the knife on himself.

Greville himself succumbed to infection from his injuries four weeks later and his ghost is said to still haunt the South Tower, with ghostly moans of agony frequently reported around the grounds.

A vision of the Baron is also said to emerge from his portrait, which still hangs in the castle.

But there are those who cast doubt on claims the Baron haunts his former home – especially as he was in fact murdered in London and was only laid out in his favourite room at Warwick Castle following his death.

(Ghostly) Lady Of The Castle

Instead, the author of the above linked blog says the claims appear to be a relatively modern phenomenon and believes reports from the 1920s and 1930s of a ‘Grey Lady’ haunting the rooms and corridors of the castle are much more credible.

Reports in the Evening Post claimed that members of the then Earl of Warwick’s family regularly saw this ghostly figure ‘flitting about the long corridors’.

One sighting is said to have been so close that the witness was able to further describe the Grey Lady as an ‘old woman dressed in grey’.

But the Grey Lady still isn’t the first ghost to have been reported at Warwick Castle.

That honour goes to a man who probably didn’t even exist except in local folklore.

Giant Footsteps

Guy of Warwick, a giant of more than nine feet tall, is famous in Warwick legend for killing a gigantic cow called the ‘Dun Cow’ and appears to have been the first spectre reported to have haunted the halls of Warwick Castle.

His colossal phantom footsteps were said to echo from one end of the castle to the other.

Guy’s ghostly legend then seems to have been replaced by that of the Grey Lady, who has in turn been replaced by Sir Fulke Greville.

And just to complicate things even further, there are modern-day tales of a fourth ghostly figure – one with four legs rather than two.

The story goes that a woman named Moll Bloxham was caught stealing from the Earl, who was so enraged that he ordered Moll to be publically punished.

Embittered by the indignity, Moll is said to have cursed the castle, with the grounds haunted vicious black dog with red eyes as a result. After many years of fruitless attempts to kill the slavering beast, the canine spirit was finally vanquished when it was lured into the river from the highest tower.

A Pilot’s View

Our Warwickshire pilot Russell Collins is open-minded when it comes to the paranormal, despite not encountering any of the various spectral figures himself as yet.

“Even before they opened the dungeons as a scary new attraction a few years ago, the ghostly legends of Warwick Castle are pretty well known around the county,” he said.

“While neither I nor my passengers have ever knowingly spotted a ghost, who knows whether one of the plentiful visitors who have waved off our evening flights over the years might have had a rather more paranormal origin than we realised!

“Ghostly goings on aside though, Warwick is a stunning town over which to enjoy a hot air balloon ride and our launch site at St Nicholas Park is right in the centre to offer fantastic views whichever direction the wind takes you.”

For more information about hot air balloon rides over Warwickshire, visit our main website here or give our team a call on 01952 212750, where one of our lovely advisors will be happy to help.

And in the spooky spirit of the season, we’ve taken 10% off our most popular gift packages for two. Visit our website and use the code ‘Halloween’ so see these scarily good offers or call our team on 01952 212750.

Warwick Castle has a huge host of attractions this Halloween, ranging from the slightly spooky for young children and those easily scared to full on fright-fests for those with a thirst for terror. Visit the Warwick Castle website for more info.